Archerfish Care Guide for Beginners – As the name suggests, archerfish are unique freshwater fish that have the ability to shoot their prey from the water. Because of this ability that makes many hobbyists are interested in having it.
They are even more beautiful when seen in groups. Not all freshwater fish groups like archerfish.
Generally, the prey is insects that are above the water. This archerfish shoots with water whose power is able to knock down prey to fall into the water, then eat it.
The unique ability of archerfish is that they have sharp eyes that are able to see their prey well. Both in the water and out of the water.
In addition to targeting prey precisely and powerfully, sometimes these fish can also jump if the prey is close enough to the surface of the water.
The volume of shots that an archerfish produces usually depends on its body size. The bigger the fish, the more jets of water it can produce.
This freshwater fish likes to inhabit shady areas that have plants hanging near the surface of the water.
With good care, archerfish can live up to 10 years. The length can reach 11 inches in the wild, while in an aquarium or pond it may only be 5 to 7 cm.
Archerfish Natural Habitat
The natural habitat of archerfish is found in India, the Philippines, Australia, Polynesia, and Thailand. They prefer areas of dark waters, where these fish will more easily attack prey because it is not visible from above.
This archerfish likes to inhabit waters where many plants float on the surface of the water. But sometimes fish also like to swim into the open sea which is not far from the river.
To note, the archerfish does not look like a real bow or archer. It’s because of their skills that they get such a name.
In appearance, this archerfish has an elongated body that looks slightly flat, with a slightly tapered head around the mouth.
Unlike most other fish, this archer’s dorsal fin is further back and its tail is perfectly rounded.
In terms of size, archerfish can grow up to 11 inches in the wild, and in captivity, they can grow to about 7 inches.
There are various species of archerfish and each species has a unique body pattern. Generally, archerfish have a body that looks silvery with a gold-like color on the back, with four to six stripes running vertically across the body.
Although they are not as beautiful as other freshwater fish such as the discus, flowerhorn or bettas, they still deserve to be in your aquarium.
Archery fish like to swim in groups. Usually, they are in groups of more than 5 in one flock and work together to find prey. One group generally consists of fish of the same size.
In addition to insects, schools of archerfish also hunt small fish.
Because they like to be on the surface of the water, they are very vulnerable to attacks from aerial predators. But they are shrewd enough to hide from aerial predators.
How to Keep Archerfish
Talking about archerfish care, of course, you have to prepare an ideal place to live, food, tank mates, and ideal water parameters. Let’s discuss more how to keep archerfish!
Basically, you can keep archerfish in an aquarium or pond. If in an aquarium, you need to provide an aquarium with a size of more than 1 meter, or 110 gallons of water. If you keep it in the pond, provide a larger size.
You can provide aquatic plants to resemble their natural habitat. It also serves as a shelter for fish.
In terms of lighting, they do not need high light. You can provide low to medium light.
For currents in the aquarium, you can give them a low current. So it will make the water in the aquarium move quietly.
As for the substrate, you can give fine sand or rocks. Basically, these great archers will not interact with the substrate, because they are middle and top fish types.
Ideal Water Parameters
In archerfish care, you need to pay attention to good water parameters. Ideally, the water conditions are at least similar to their natural habitat.
Provide water with a temperature of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can maintain the acidity level at pH 6.0 – 7.5.
Related: Banggai Cardinalfish Care Guide
In terms of food, archerfish prefer protein or meat-based foods. They basically prefer to hunt prey rather than just sit around and wait for the time to eat.
If you keep it in an aquarium, you can feed the archerfish:
- Crustaceans (Shrimp)
- Smaller fish
Since archerfish are predatory fish, it’s a bad idea to combine them with small fish. Of course, they will consider small fish as prey.
You can mix them with other peaceful fish, as long as they are the same size or larger than them.
Also, be careful, archerfish can be very aggressive if kept alone. So, it’s better if you keep more than one archerfish, 4-5 in one aquarium will make these fish more comfortable and less aggressive.
Related: Black Ghost Knifefish Ultimate Care Guide
Well, that’s a glimpse of archerfish and how to take care of them properly and correctly. Hopefully, it adds to your insight!